How is it Made? Part 1

behind the scenes how it's made studio

This is Part 1 of a 2 part series on how I make my wood jewelry.    

One of the things I love most about jewelry is the transformation of materials.   In this How is it Made blog series I will take you behind the scenes of how I make my one of a kind wood jewelry.

My wood and polyurethane inlay technique is a product of experimenting with materials in my studio.  I begin the process with wood sourced from other makers and industrial cut-offs from companies with responsible forestry practices to maximize sustainability.  

Laura Jaklitsch Jewelry How it's Made Wood Selection

A box of cut-offs sent to me by another maker.  I love the collaborative aspect of working with pieces that are byproducts of another maker’s craft. 


Using my signature inlay process, I make the composite wood and polyurethane blocks. It is a layered process; I cut into the blocks, pour in the polyurethane, and then cure them together under pressure many times.  

Cut blocks ready for the next color.  I make molds around the pieces, and then pour in the polyurethane.  


When designing, I often use the figuring in the wood as a jumping off point.  The color palette evolves organically as I am making each piece, often to represent a landscape, place, or feeling.   Each color I add can change the composition and feel of the piece dramatically so the wood and polyurethane blocks are constantly in flux as I am working on them.

Dyed polyurethane

Dyed polyurethane.  I mix all of the colors into the polyurethane using only red, blue, yellow, and black dye.


It is a very labor intensive process, and it can take several days to a week to complete a batch of 10 blocks.  When I feel the blocks are finished I square off the blocks using a band saw and disc sander. 

Laura Jaklitsch Jewelry Wood x Polyurethane Composite Blocks

Composite wood and polyurethane blocks that have been squared up, meaning the sides are parallel and meet at right angles.


Next, I begin the jewelry design process.  Using oval templates positioned over the blocks, I try to find the best compositions.  The possibilities are endless!  Often I take photographs of multiple compositions to compare them side by side.  When I have decided the final design, I trace the oval onto the block. 

Laura Jaklitsch Jewelry How it's Made Templates

Using templates to find compositions. The larger templates are designed with photoshop and glued to cardstock.

Read Part 2 Here.  

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